pre-req advice

This semester I’m taking chem.101 and I am struggling my a@# off to try and keep up with the professor’s lectures. I put in hours upon hours of study time (neglecting my other courses)and still managed to get only a C on exam-1 of 3 during the semester. I think that the two reasons for this is: 1) I’ve been out of high school for 14yrs. and I’ve never taken chemistry before. 2) Because of a financial strain, I was three weeks into the semester before I purchased my textbooks. Now I’m trying to keep up with new material being covered in the course while going back to previous chapters to try and get a better understanding of that material. At this point, I do not feel confident that I can obtain a grade higher than a C. I’m strongly considering resigning the course and taking Chem100 (a prep. course) during the summer so that I can get a basic foundation and re-take chem101 in the fall semester of this year. Is this a good idea? How does med-schools feel about students resigning a pre-req?

Robert, I would say the issue of not having your books right away was probably the source of your problem. It sounds like you are very dedicated and study a lot so I am sure that if you had a chance to start from the beginning like everyone else did, you would be much better off. From what I know, chemistry, biology, and math build on themselves, so to get the concepts from the beginning is vital to building a strong foundation. Do you know if it is past the deadline in your semester to drop the class with a W? To the best of my knowledge getting a W on a transcript and possibly having to explain the reason for it later (you would just tell med-school admissions what you wrote on OPM) would look far better than risking your overall GPA by getting a C or worse. The Chem 1000 prep course is excellent and it should start you out at a much more manageable pace and give you confidence going into Chem 101 following semester. That’s my suggestion. Good luck let us know how it turns out


Definitely drop, unless you see yourself pulling it back up to a B+ or A- by the end of the semester. As a general tip, always search for used textbooks online, either Amazon or Abebooks have been very useful for me, if not the local craigslist or bulletin board at your campus. is also pretty decent. If the situation arises again, you might also check out your campus library. Sometimes, the campus libraries have copies of textbooks on closed reserve (in-library use only).